I’m Tess, a twenty-something gal from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
I spent the first 18 years of my life in Minnesota, graduating from the same school district where I began my education. When I finished high school, I moved to Denver, Colorado, to study International Relations.
That didn’t work out very well for me. It took me a while to come to terms with that. A dream I’d had my entire life had fallen right before my eyes, and it was a real shock to my soul.
So, I did what I knew how to do: I moved home. I transferred to a different university. I changed my major to Social Work.
However, I still felt stuck. Restless. Dreadfully uncomfortable.
So, I did what I knew how to do: I followed my heart. I dropped out of school, for the first time in my life. And it was the greatest decision I’ve made to date.
I’m a big believer in doing whatever your heart tells you to do, instead of the conventional thing. You’ll read a lot about that here.
I define myself with a few terms that I know are fluid. I am an ever-changing, dynamic person, and I’m okay with that.
I’m a vegan, a minimalist, an adventurer, a Sagittarius, a musician, a poet, and artist, and a child of the universe. Also, I’m, like, always cold. So there’s that.
The four predominant themes in my life are spirituality, ethical eating and living, travel, and minimalism. A significant portion of my blog is dedicated to these four themes.
I have a background in Unitarian Universalism. I was raised as a UU in a predominantly UU family. I am so grateful for this religious background: I was born into a religious family with a heightened awareness of the sacredness of the world.
I have also practiced Christianity, and this still greatly influences my life. At this point in my life, I am comfortable without a religious label, as I am still navigating my religious beliefs and practices. But know, moving forward, that I allow spirituality to have a great influence in my life.
I became a vegetarian at the age of twelve after eating very little meat for the entirety of my life. I was exposed to the ugly truths of animal abuse and the unhealthy, abusive lies fed to us through our food at a young age, and I have been inexplicably changed for the better because of it. I have been vegan off and on, whenever I am financially and readily able to do so. I have currently been vegan since August 2017.
I have been to three countries: the USA (my home), Guatemala (three times), and India. In the spring of 2018, I will be backpacking through Europe. I’ve travelled extensively throughout the US, as well. Travel seems to be of interest to so many young people, but it *appears* to be just out of reach. I am here to tell you IT’S NOT. Travel is so accessible. Th world is at your fingertips. Sacrifice must be made in many places, but it is here for you. The world is waiting–open your eyes.
I began my journey of intentional minimalism in December 2016, when I moved from Denver to Minneapolis. I saw the documentary Minimalism, and I was instantly hooked. Since then, I have materially downsized incredibly–I have rid my life of probably around 85 percent of what I originally owned. I am conscious with my spending habits. I am aware of the unethical practices through which our clothing and other material items are made, and I refuse to participate.
I am so passionate about vulnerability–I think there is strength in sharing weaknesses with one another. I write a lot about this.
I don’t really believe in the concept of “oversharing”; I have struggled. I have wept. I have endured incredibly difficult things and I don’t sugarcoat that here. I believe in learning from others’ experiences–I believe we are made for community. In this blog, I share some of my deepest struggles, trials, doubts, and fears. I also share some of my greatest triumphs, strengths, joys, and heights. I hope you’ll share some of yours, too.
I am currently backpacking solo through Europe, so that’s primarily what I’m writing about at the moment. I’ve visited 14 countries (and counting!). Travel is something that cannot be replaced in my heart–there’s something so incredibly special about the privilege that is exploration, adventure, and growth. My favorite mode of travel is backpacking: hostels, flexibility, spontaneity. I have published a few guides to backpacking, and I’d love to hear your thoughts, too!
I strongly believe “wellness” means something different to each human being–we’re all made so uniquely, and what a wonderful thing it is to embrace that. We’re all on this journey to know ourselves deeper, meaning your passions, callings, and joys may change along the way. This blog reflects that in me.
Thank you so much for reading! I can’t wait to hear from you.
If you’d like to reach out to me with questions or comments, or if you’d like to work with me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“So if you care to find me / Look to the western sky! / As someone told me lately: ‘Everyone deserves the chance to fly!'”